David Ross (dyvyd) wrote,
David Ross

XXXI Shroud of Babel

Here is the photograph the puzzle pieces made on dark brown cloth exposed to the sun for 20 months.  Now that's a time exposure for sure!

It is clear that I started in the lower right corner of the puzzle with the teal-colored water, the boats, and the quay.  I rapidly became lost in the darker pieces that followed-- "The muddies" as I came to know them.  Assembling puzzles by progressing color groups was a technique that "the muddies," with their smudgy, dark, vague coloring, openly defied.  Hitting the wall-- literally the wall of the tower--  I went on vacation in May of that year, and upon my return "muddied about" for a month or so before I decided I was way behind on pace and needed a new place to attack.  I wanted to reduce the number of pieces that I needed to sort through as quickly as possible.

I had already separated all the sky-looking pieces onto a separate felt-covered board.  So I decided to work next with the sky: a deep blue on the right side of the tower that gradually turned more coppery and whitish as it moved to the the tower's left.

The sky, to a much larger extent than any other part of the puzzle, invited false solutions that sometimes would make it seem that the next pieces were missing. Despite puzzle-maker's claims that "no two pieces are alike,"  I found this to be patently false.  Many pieces were interchangeable and looked OK in situ, only later to be proven to be the wrong pieces.  As documented earlier, two three-by-three sections of sky could be moved as a block from the left sky to the right sky with no real disturbance to the eye.  Only a careful study with a magnifying glass would finally settle the issue as to their proper placement. 

By August, as I was finishing the final lighter pieces on the puzzle's left (or West) sky, I achieved a single day's total of @ 220 pieces. This would stand as the record for a day's work.  "Everything just fell into place" as they like to say.The sky became a clear victory, not only by the dispatch of a huge block of color, but by the establishment of horizon lines, and the outline of the tower from the top to the horizon lines.
Tags: babel puzzle

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